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Snippet: Idiots Are Setting 5G Towers on Fire in the UK ☇

Shared on April 6, 2020

Tom Warren for The Verge:

5G phone masts are being set alight in the UK, after online conspiracy theories have misleadingly linked the cell towers to the coronavirus pandemic. The BBC reports that at least three 5G towers were set alight within the last week, and police and fire services were called to extinguish the flames.

A Vodafone UK spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that four cell towers were targeted in the past 24 hours. Police have now launched investigations into how the 5G towers caught fire. At least one tower in Birmingham, operated by EE, doesn’t even provide 5G services but was still set on fire.

The average person most likely cannot tell the different between a 5G-equipped tower and one that has yet to be upgraded (much less whose equipment is on that tower). If you set one on fire, you’re probably also torching the LTE and any other legacy equipment, ruining service for all of us cooped up at home and any emergency responders. This kind of behavior is nutty at best and terrorism at worst. No matter where you are, don’t do it.

There’s also conspiracy theories that the closures of schools is so “they can put 5G in there,” ignoring the fact that cellular signals propagate through the air (DAS and small-cells aside, wireless geeks reading this). On the other hand, many of these frequencies have already been in use for other services for decades, floating through the air anyway.

The sad thing is that these conspiracy theories have gained more traction due to social media, so they’re not as fringe as what may have been hiding in the dark corners of the internet during the 3G or LTE rollouts. Then again, the world seemed like a better place in general when 3G came to town.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.